Good news for hot-dog fans: Steve's Hot Dogs (2131 Marconi Avenue; 314-762-9899) met its Indiegogo fundraising goal and more Sunday night and is moving ahead with its second location. Owner Steve Ewing announced back in May that he would be opening a Tower Grove East outpost of his restaurant on the Hill.
"It is very exciting. It was pretty crazy -- you just don't know," Ewing tells Gut Check. "This is the first time I've ever done this. I was hoping that we [would meet our goal], but to actually watch it and see it happen was pretty amazing."
Ewing decided to use Indiegogo instead of Kickstarter so that even if the fundraising goal wasn't completely met, there would still some money raised. (Kickstarter only awards donations if the project is 100 percent funded; Indiegogo offers flexible fundraising, where you can keep the funds raised but be charged a 4 percent fee.)
The new Steve's Hot Dogs will be adjacent to Tick Tock Tavern, the beloved south-city bar that is being revived by the Royale's Steve Smith, among others. The buildout of the historic building can now begin, and Ewing says he's going full speed ahead to open the second week in August.
Crowdsourcing can be a tricky choice (and sometimes a controversial one, too), but Ewing says he knew it would be tough getting help from the bank while our economy is still recovering.
"I had some saved to work with, but not enough to get going. I felt like we had a good shot at raising what we needed to get the doors open," he says. "At the end of it there might've been 30 different perks [offered] so it was a lot of fun -- we made it fun for the people, and we definitely made it worth their while with Indiegogo."
You can follow Steve's Hot Dogs on Facebook for updates, and look for the new location in the next month or so.
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